My coworker Matt Dinger has an interesting story in today’s paper about how Oklahoma City police have designated an incident report written about an investigation into the killing of a woman in northwest Oklahoma City.
Rather than release reports from the first officers on the scene, the police decided that a report written by the officer who put up crime scene tape should be the primary report. All others, including those that may contain more information about the death, have been designated “supplemental” reports and not subject to the Open Records Act:
Reports from the officers who went inside the house, a police lieutenant and the watch commander, are considered supplemental and are not public record, Oklahoma City police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said Monday.
I understand the police need to keep certain details secret during an investigation, but this strikes me as a rather underhanded way for the police to control the normal flow of information. What do you think?
Written by Paul Monies